The chemical manufacturer BASF stops new business in Russia and Belarus

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Germany’s BASF SE, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, said it has halted new business in Russia and Belarus but will continue existing operations there in line with Western sanctions.

The company joins a string of western companies freezing investments in Russia after invading Ukraine. Earlier this week, Wintershall Dea AG, a German oil and gas company in which BASF holds a majority stake, said it would write off its €1 billion, or $1.1 billion, financing for the now-frozen Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and will not pursue new energy projects in Russia.

“New business opportunities in Russia and Belarus are not being pursued, the only exception being food production as part of humanitarian efforts,” a BASF spokeswoman said on Friday.

BASF will only do business in Russia and Belarus “to fulfill its existing obligations in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and international rules,” the company said.

BASF has been active in Russia for more than 145 years. It employs around 700 people across the country at 12 locations. It mainly serves the country’s agricultural, healthcare, automotive and construction industries. In 2021, Russia accounted for around 1% of BASF’s total sales

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